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Cozy Mystery Book Review: Death of A Hussy by NY Times Bestselling Author M. C. Beaton - A Hamish Macbeth Mystery

Posted by Ronnie on February 16, 2016 at 9:00 AM Comments comments (0)

"Who murdered Maggie Baird, whore turned wealthy socialite? Read another of M. C. Beaton's wonderful cozy mysteries and find out. A lovely British mystery filled with eccentrics."

Once again there is a vicious murder on Constable Hamish Macbeth's patch in the highlands of Scotland. Maggie Baird amassed a small fortune - enough to purchase a lovely home in the Highlands and retire in style. But money and a house don't make a home. Maggie gets lonely and decides to call on former suitors to come keep her company. (The very same suitors she fleeced in her days as a gold digger.) And that's when things begin to heat up, literally, as poor Maggie is dragged from a burning car -- DEAD!

The suspects are her four former lovers, aging rock star, Steele Ironside; pompous Crispin Witherington who owns a car sales room; silly James Frame whose mannerisms mimic those attending a royal court in the days when men giggled and wore hose and white wigs; and Peter Jenkins who needs to grow a backbone. Then of course there is Maggie's meek neice Alison who is so wimpy I wanted to reach into the pages and slap her myself. The stoic Mrs. Todd runs the house and wraps Alison with a mother's warmth when Maggie meets her tragic end.

Hamish has his neverending problems with the upper echelon of the police department. He usually reports to Detective Chief Inspector Blair who would as soon run over Macbeth with his car than speak to him. But there's a new face sent down from headquarters in Strathbane. The smooth, unruffled Ian Donati whose calm is unsettling. Hamish may soon find himself pining for the verbally abusive Blair! While those looking on from the outside, see Hamish as an underachieving, lazy lout, the reader knows his mind works with amazing analytical skill. The slightest inflection in a suspect's voice does not go unheard by Constable Hamish.

As usual, Beaton's insight into the dark and weak human characteristics is spot on. There is just enough description to give you a whiff and a taste of the Highlands without boring the reader with endless scenery details. She weaves a story of intrigue, passion and sex that leaves the reader on the edge of her seat as the story winds to a climatic finish.

USPS Post Office Holidays

Posted by Ronnie on January 16, 2016 at 9:05 AM Comments comments (0)

How many times have I wondered if a holiday is a government or bank holiday? Well here are the post office holidays. 

Jan 1 New Year's Day Friday

Jan 18 Martin Luther King Day Monday

Feb 15 Presidents' Day Monday

May 30 Memorial Day Monday

Jul 4 Independence Day Monday

Sep 5 Labor Day Monday

Oct 10 Columbus Day Monday

Nov 11 Veterans' Day Friday

Nov 24 Thanksgiving Thursday

Dec 24 Christmas Eve

(close at noon) Saturday

Dec 26 Christmas Day (observed) Monday

Dec 31 New Year's Eve

(close at noon) Saturday

Ebay Tip: Using Priority Mail Shipping

Posted by Ronnie on January 11, 2016 at 10:45 AM Comments comments (0)

ebay Priority Mail Shipping

ebay sellers should not be paying for envelopes or boxes when shipping sold items via Priority Mail. Unless I am mailing a very light and inexpensive item I use Priority Mail shipping.

My reasons are:

  1. FREE shipping supplies. This is a no brainer.
  2. Free insurance up to $50.00 if the item is lost or broken in transit. The claims process is super easy and I will explain it in my ebay refund tip which should be published later this week.
  3. Free tracking. Your buyer can track the postage until it arrives. I have even had the postal carrier leave details as to exactly where the package was left on the property.

How to Order Free shipping supplies and why order by mail

If your post office is anything like mine they have very limited postal supplies. If you are fortunate to have a post office that carries all the supplies you need, then you may not need the following information.

First step is to go to and start an account. Once you have registered and have your account you can go through the supplies and pick out the ones you need. Take not of how many come in the packages, some items are delivered in singles, packs of 10, 20 or more. Be aware of this as you add to your cart.

My favorite items are: Flat Rate envelopes; Flat Rate padded envelopes (the postage on these are a little more than the flat rate envelopes but it saves on bubble wrap and they hold more than the cardboard envelope); Tyreck envelopes; small square 8 x 8 box; shoe box; flat rate medium box; and the dual purpose tubes.

I ship small clothing items in the flat rate envelopes, larger clothing items in the Tyrek envelopes. The flat rate padded envelopes are great for dress pants which don't fit into the flat rate envelope but weigh more than a pound.

I like the 8 x 8 square boxes for shipping small ceramic items like cups, saucers, bowls, mugs or glasses, basically any small breakable items.

I use the shoe box size for lots of items, of course they are great for shoes, but also excellent for larger items.

The Tyrek envelopes are good for anything made of fabric that can be bent or is not breakable. It's light weight so it doesn't add to the weight of your items.

I only use medium or large flat rate boxes rarely. This is when I have something that is very heavy and would cost much more to ship.

There are many times where depending on the weight and type of item, I will try fitting them into different packaging to find just the right fit. For instance, if I have a pair of flat sandals, I can probably put them into a padded envelope or maybe even a regular flat rate envelope. I might even try a Tyrek envelope because if the sandals weigh less than a pound it will be the same or less than shipping flat rate. Remember: any item that weighs 13 ounces or more must be shipped Priority Mail.

Every so often I have an item that won't fit into any of the Priority Mail boxes. I refuse to pay for boxes if at all possible so that's when I hit my local stores like Dollar General and ask if they have any boxes. Sometimes my husband can get boxes from his job. If all else fails, I will go to Walmart and buy a box. Their boxes are pretty reasonable. Thus far I have not had to pay for boxes.

I hope you find this helpful. If so please share on your social media!

Happy Selling!!

Crochet Baby Owl Hat, Vest and Granny Square Blanket

Posted by Ronnie on September 23, 2015 at 10:15 AM Comments comments (0)

I made this lovely vest, hat and blanket for my kids' marching band director and his wife who gave birth to a beautiful baby girl.

The hat pattern is from I can't seem to find where I got the vest pattern but when I find it I will post the site. The blanket is a giant granny square.

I mostly used Simply Soft by Caron which is my favorite worsted weight yarn. I get a LOT of my patterns from Ravelry. Also my fb friends in the crochet groups I belong to.>

I also have a sweater, booties and hat but I have to put a few finishing touches and then will share.

Free Crochet Thread Dress Pattern for OOAK Dolls

Posted by Ronnie on September 10, 2015 at 12:50 AM Comments comments (0)

Check out lovely dress!! Made from cotton crochet thread. It is rare to find a pattern of this quality listed for free!!!

How To Sell on ebay

Posted by Ronnie on September 10, 2015 at 12:45 AM Comments comments (0)

How to sell on ebay. Follow me step by step as I list a pair of my son's Converse sneakers for sale. He needed the extra cash to buy a new pair of athletic shoes.

Check this out!!!

Trust In The Lord

Posted by Ronnie on September 24, 2013 at 7:15 AM Comments comments (0)

At times it is easy to focus on the problems that sit right in your face. I like to write. I don't do as much of it as I should. It's a gift from God that I have often, over the years, neglected. But when I face yet another difficult situation it is so wonderful to be able to go back over my journals and devotionals and see how time after time, God has shown up just when I needed Him.  Below is an excerpt from my devotional booklet I wrote several years ago.

Trust In the Lord

 My oldest daughter, Jasmine was placed into a low functioning second grade class because she had a difficult time learning to read in first grade. The school administration labeled her “slow” but  I refused to accept this label.

By third grade, Jasmine was able to enter the gifted program. She stayed in gifted and advanced learning programs until she left school early to obtain her GED. She then entered nursing school in a class of over 20 students and was one of three to graduate. Of the three, she was the only one who took her exams, passed and became a licensed practical nurse. (Oops, don't be alarmed, that's just a little bit of a motherly pride dripping from the page into your lap. Just wipe it away and keep reading. Hallelujah!)

This was not an easy accomplishment. And it certainly didn't happen overnight!

Every morning, my daughter and I prayed together before she left for school.
Our Father, which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day, our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory forever.

God worked it out so that when she was in second grade and still not doing well in reading, I was taking the college course, Teaching Reading in Elementary School. I was able to help her learn to read during my internship. So she had her own live-in reading tutor and I scored an A in my class! Woo-hoo!

Update: She is now enrolled in an RN program and doing extremely well in her classes!!


Fast forward to today, 9/24/13 - Well, we received the report that my granddaughter has a learning disability. They wanted to keep her back in kindergarten. She is in first grade and well basically, here we go again! I can't wait to see how God works this one out!!

Writing Crochet Patterns

Posted by Ronnie on July 17, 2013 at 8:20 AM Comments comments (0)

I am working on getting some patterns ready to publish!! I am so excited about this new venture. Most are patterns for dolls but I am planning to make some hats and items for children as well. I just have to be disciplined. I start crocheting and then get to creating but forget to write down what I am doing. I'm still a work in progress. LOL!

Remember God loves you. Have a blessed day!


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Spring Is Here, A Time For New Beginnings

Posted by Ronnie on June 16, 2013 at 9:05 AM Comments comments (0)

It's been a really rough year. I completed my first year as a caseworker in May. This has been one of the most difficult trials I have gone through. I have had to do a great deal of soul searching to decide if this field is for me. 

But the best thing I gained is the knowledge that I can do an extremely stressful and difficult job. I am more confident of my job skills. I had some problems with my supervisor. She was new at being a supervisor and I was new at being a caseworker. I made some mistakes early on but I feel I've gained some valuable skills.

Most of all, my faith in God increased. I had reached a point where I simply felt I could not handle the job. I could not sleep at night. I was constantly stressed out worrying about what I had to do in the field and the paperwork backing up. I felt as though I was drowning.

Ever present He heard my call. He gave me a peace that transcends understanding. I don't wake up thinking about work or my clients. The nightmares are gone. And now I am able to consider what I really want to do. At this point in my life, I am over 50 years old. I have worked hard all my life, either at work or at home. I had two children after the age of 40! And now it's my time. So I am going to step out in faith in His Word that "with God nothing is impossible." And I will see where He leads me.

August Updates

Posted by Ronnie on August 25, 2012 at 9:00 AM Comments comments (0)

Hard at work, working 9-5. I have so little time for crafts lately, especially crochet. :(

On top of that, there are three ladies at my job having babies and my best friend just had a baby so I've been swamped trying to crochet for baby showers.  I did finish this blanket and wanted to post pictures. 

This is my own pattern that I've made several times with different variations. Basically, afghan squares and then hdc and dc stitches around with a scalloped trim. It measures approximately 33 x 30 inches.

I like this yarn because it is pretty and lightweight. I found this beautiful peach yarn on sale at A.C. Moore and of course when I went back to get more it was all gone. Rats!!  It is peach in Bernat Coordinates. The white was not on sale but I got 40% off because I had a coupon. I absolutely refuse to pay full price for yarn.

Bible Bookmark & Doily Book cover

Posted by Ronnie on May 8, 2012 at 4:00 PM Comments comments (0)

I just made this lovely doily. Sorry I can't share the pattern. It is from "The Ultimate Doily Book". The pattern is Gentle Wind. The designer is Jo Ann Maxwell.  I found it to be a relatively straight forward pattern. There are only a couple of rounds I had difficulty with. This measures about 16 inches but is not the full doily. There are still about ten more rounds. I haven't decided if I will finish it or not. I needed it for a book cover. I wrote a little book of devotional material and want to use this photo for my cover. I made the bookmark using a couple of bookmark patterns I found on Ravelry.

The pattern calls for white ands ecru but I just had to add a bit more color!!



Crochet Bookmarks for Charity

Posted by Ronnie on April 22, 2012 at 5:05 PM Comments comments (0)

I am finally getting around to posting a new blog entry. I have been crocheting like crazy but wanted to share these bookmarks. A lady we know lost her son due to a heart problem and is doing a fundraiser for the American Heart Association. She is selling chocolate lollipops. So I decided to help out by making crocheted bookmarks for her to sell. I used a couple of patterns. There was a pretty flower pattern I found for earrings as well as a complete bookmark. I sort of combined the two, especially for the orange and red flowers. I like how these came out. Here are pics of some of them:



Each one only takes a few minutes to make. If you look on you can find patterns similar to these.

Teddy Bear Made From Crochet Thread - Yeah!

Posted by Ronnie on March 26, 2012 at 7:00 PM Comments comments (9)

I've been trying to make amigurumi for quite some time. I have made quite a few little animals but didn't like any until this one.

I finally was able to take a pattern for a large teddy bear and make a tiny one using thread. She measures 4 inches tall. I have to admit my fingers felt cramped afterwards.

I put a cute little dress on her. The bow I crocheted and sewed to to the top of her head between her ears.  I think she is adoable!



Vintage Style Dishcloth

Posted by Ronnie on February 23, 2012 at 11:15 PM Comments comments (1)

I decided to try my hand at writing my own pattern in vintage style. This is what I came up with. I will share pattern soon, but it needs tweaking.

Old Fashioned Vintage Potholders Complete!

Posted by Ronnie on February 21, 2012 at 3:05 PM Comments comments (0)

A while back I posted some pictures of dishcloths because I was too lazy to crochet two sides to make potholders. Well, I kept looking at the dishcloths and finally decided to crochet a back for all of them to make into potholders.  Here are pictures of two of my favorites below. I have to say I really like how they came out. And I love how they feel like they have so much more substance to them. Now I am working on a scarf using the same type of motifs, let's see how that comes out. More pics soon!  Oh and the original pattern can be found here. :


Free Crochet Thread Baby Bib Pattern

Posted by Ronnie on February 20, 2012 at 10:00 AM Comments comments (0)

Here is a lovely baby bib pattern I wrote recently. You can find the free pattern here.



Contentment Is a Gift from God

Posted by Ronnie on February 15, 2012 at 6:10 AM Comments comments (1)

I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength. Phil. 4:12,13

 In the early 1800's, Fanny Crosby wrote this poem:

 O what a happy soul am I! Although I cannot see,

I am resolved that in this world, contented I will be;

How many blessings I enjoy, That other people don't!

To weep and sigh because I'm blind, I cannot, and I won't.

She wrote over 9,000 songs and poems during her life. She lived to be 98 years old. Some of my favorite hymns, Blessed Assurance, Jesus Keep Me Near The Cross, Pass Me Not Oh Gentle Savior were written by Fanny Crosby.

We have seen many famous people succumb to drug and alcohol addiction. Many have died while in their prime. This week we lost Whitney Houston. So many are mourning her death. And though we celebrate how she blessed the world with her beautiful voice, we can't help but wonder about the private demons that kept her chained to drug abuse.

There is nothing more valuable than peace with God. Contentment is a gift from the Lord; it cannot be purchased, it cannot be sold, but it is attainable when we live our lives according to His Word. When will we learn that He already figured it all out. God knows all and then He gave us His Word, His Son and His Holy Spirit to help us to navigate this world. Life is hard, but if we give our burdens over to the Lord, it can be so much easier.

If you don't know Him, get to know Him. He is right there with you, not even as far away as your whisper. He is waiting with arms open. No matter how dark life seems, He is always there.



Book Review: Murder Melts in Your Mouth by Nancy Martin

Posted by Ronnie on February 8, 2012 at 6:00 PM Comments comments (0)

I love reading cozy mysteries. These are mysteries that usually take place in a village or rural setting. No explicit sex scenes, very little or hopefully no cursing.

 I just finished this book and I found it to be an excellent read. I don't get a whole lot of time to read fiction, but when I do, I like settling down into a nice juicy mystery. Nothing too deep or depressing.

Murder Melts in Your Mouth by Nancy Martin is part of the Blackbird Sisters mystery series. I like Martin's writing style. Fast paced, funny, has you sitting on the edge of your seat and then cracking up laughing. This is the first book I read in a long time where I absolutely didn't want to put it down.

The protagonist is one of the Blackbird sisters. This is a zany family some of whom can't figure out if they are coming or going. A mom who will throw a party at a moment's notice whether it is appropriate or not, a sister who wants to wallow in luxury even though she has no money, another sister who wanted to party all night long but is starting to feel the affects of leading that kind of life, a dad who is a swindler and our main character, Nora Blackbird, our amateur sleuth.

I give this 5 stars.


I called, You answered

Posted by Ronnie on February 5, 2012 at 9:00 AM Comments comments (0)

Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, [and] rivers in the desert. Isaiah 43:19

In the day of my trouble I will call upon thee: for thou wilt answer me. Psalm 86:7

He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I [will be] with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him. Psalm 91:15

Last week I was in a funk, feeling down and depressed. As David did in the Bible, I encouraged myself. I sang songs and hymns of praise. I looked for Him and as always, He was there for me!

This morning I feel so good inside. Filled with joy. Last night or rather early this a.m. around 2:09 am, I woke up and felt a pressing need to get up rather than lie in bed waiting for sleep to come. The Lord once again impressed on me how important it is to inspire others, to try to bring joy into the lives of others through my writing.

I'm getting ready to go to church, the sun is streaming in the window (thank God for a sunny day, we get a lot of cloudy days in the Pocono mountains) and I just wanted to encourage you all. Even in the darkest days, when there seems to be no way out, God has provided a way. Just seek His Face and He will answer.


Christianity and Depression: Devotional Inspired by Biblical Scripture

Pentagon Vintage Style Dish Cloths from Free Pattern

Posted by Ronnie on February 2, 2012 at 8:40 AM Comments comments (0)

I decided to give the pentagon potholder a try as a dishcloth. Here's how it came out. I also added more colors. I'm trying to experiment with more colors lately. A trip to my local American Ribbon store where they had a nice selection of cotton crochet thread.

 Here is a link to an article giving tips on how to find vintage patterns like this: Free Thread Crochet patterns - Antique/Vintage/Contemporary.